Veterans for Peace offers college scholarships

Deadline for Applications from Alachua County students/residents: April 23

by Paul Ortiz

Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 is excited to announce our 7th annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2021. We are awarding three college scholarships of $1,000 each for high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: social justice and peace, Black Lives Matter, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change. 

Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of social justice and equality.

The majority of Veterans for Peace scholarships awarded thus far have gone to first-generation college students as well as community college students. Students enrolled in vocational, apprenticeship and career training programs are also eligible to apply. 

Santa Fe College student Doug Bernal, a recipient of a 2016 Peace Scholarship, is an Iraq War veteran who explains the economic challenges facing student veterans: “Like many newly separated veterans, I struggled financially for quite some time after leaving the service. Unsure of where I wanted to go in life and lacking the confidence to pursue higher education, I found myself taking on more debt as time went on. When I finally decided to pursue school, it was difficult to purchase books and pay bills while waiting for my GI Bill benefits to come through. I didn’t initially have the grades for financial aid, so the VFP scholarship was instrumental in getting me the books I so desperately needed and putting me on a path to a successful college experience.”

Please help Gainesville Veterans for Peace spread the word about this scholarship program.

To be eligible to apply for the Peace Scholarship, the applicant must be a resident of Alachua County and in one of these categories:

1) a high school senior planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school or apprenticeship program in the United States for the 2021-2022 academic year

2) a student currently enrolled in one of the above mentioned  programs and in good standing

3) an adult student enrolling in higher education who needs financial assistance.

Applicants should provide a brief personal statement and evidence of leadership and/or personal initiative in activities in an organization (including volunteer or paid work) relating to peace and social justice, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change. They will also need to provide two letters of recommendation. 

The application (PDF file) must be downloaded from the Gainesville Veterans for Peace website, printed out, completed and postal mailed to:

Paul Ortiz
C/O Veterans for Peace Scholarship Program
2115 NW 7th Lane
Gainesville, Florida 32603

The postmarked deadline for the application is April 23.

Peace Scholarship recipients will be announced during the first week of May. 

For questions about the Peace Scholarship, contact Paul Ortiz at: or 831-334-0131.

The full announcement and instructions for applying may be found on our web site, at

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